Vol.IX No.XI Pg.1
January 1973

Love Is Not God

Robert F. Turner

If you have neither time nor inclination to think, you may skip this page— but there is a treasure in the following quote if you will take it.

St. Johns saying that God is love has long been balanced in my mind against the remark of a modern author (M. Denis de Rougemont) that love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god; which of course can be re-stated in the form begins to be a demon the moment he begins to be a god. This balance seems to me an indispensable safeguard. If we ignore it the truth that God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God.

I suppose that everyone who has thought about the matter will see what H. de Rougemont meant. Every human love, at its height, has a tendency to claim for itself a divine authority. Its voice tends to sound as if it were the will of God Himself. It tells us not to count the cost, it demands of us a total commitment, it attempts to override all other claims and insinuates that any action which is sincerely done for loves sake is thereby lawful and even meritorious. That erotic love and love of ones country may thus attempt to become gods is generally recognized. But family affection may do the same. So, in a different way, may friendship. (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Modern theology makes love the basis of spiritual fellowship, but TRUTH is the basis of fellowship, not love. (1 Jn. 2:24) We have in common a sharing relationship that is acceptable in Gods sight, only when we acknowledge Gods rule as superior to any emotion or expression of our own. The Jesus People err in thinking that love will unite all men in Christ. Situation ethics and the new morality have grown out of this viewing of love as authority.

This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. (1 Jn. 5:3) The true love of God in our hearts will demonstrate itself in our submission to His will, What a travesty, that man would claim a divine attribute as his excuse for ignoring or supplanting the divine will.